Beckett all about reliability 

October, 19, 2007
10/19/07
2:02
PM ET
There is no true comparable, not Bob Gibson or Jack Morris or Curt Schilling. When Josh Beckett stands on the mound, he has the air of the ultimate teammate, one who exudes reliability and responsibility. And Thursday night he stared into the eyes of elimination and the Cleveland Indians as if he were throwing a side session in June.

Beckett has pitched three games this postseason, and won all three; the Red Sox went home to Boston Friday with five postseason victories. This October, he has pitched 21 innings, allowed 13 hits and two runs, walked one and struck out 26 -- unbelievable numbers -- and in his career has pitched in eight postseason games and has a 1.78 ERA. "He has," says teammate Alex Cora, "that rare combination of great talent and the burning desire to be great. It's unbelievable to watch."

Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis have that burning obsession for greatness. They just don't have Beckett's God-given ability, as if more than a handful do. After Beckett shut out the Angels in the ALDS opener then blitzed the Indians in the ALCS opener, I searched for the appropriate word to describe the 27-year-old Bob Gibson of this generation. "Reliability" came to mind, which he liked. "That," said Beckett, "is how I want to be perceived by my teammates." And they appreciate that he cares only to be judged by those teammates, allowing the media to judge him by performance, not words.

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